A Self-Defeating Palestinian Aid Freeze

By Jeffrey Goldberg

It makes no sense whatsoever for Congress to suspend aid to the Palestinian Authority, unless, of course, Congress seeks to destroy the Palestinian Authority. Various American politicians, and pro-Israel activists, are lobbying for permanent cut-offs in aid to the Authority, in reaction to the Palestinian push for statehood recognition at the UN. I happen to think the statehood push is the wrong move for the Palestinians, but trying to sink the Authority over this is a most destructive act. The government of Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad is the most competent and serious governing body the Palestinians have ever had; serious economic development that has led to the creation of a larger middle class on the West Bank is only one of Authority's achievements. Those who would cut off the Authority's oxygen have to ask themselves: What will come next? A more agreeable Palestinian Authority government? Or chaos?

I suppose supporters of the settlers would like to see the Palestinian Authority disappear. Salam Fayyad is a much bigger danger to them than is Hamas. A powerful West Bank Hamas is what the settlers need to perpetuate their project.  But if you're not a supporter of the settlers, and if you believe that a two-state solution is the best hope for Israel's long-term survival as  Jewish and democratic state, then why would you possibly seek to undermine the Palestinian Authority now?

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/10/a-self-defeating-palestinian-aid-freeze/246096/